Three ships construction in offing

DEPUTY Minister for Works and Transport, Mr Atupele Mwakibete has said that the government will sign four contracts for the construction of three ships to operate in Lake Tanganyika and Victoria before the end of this fiscal year.

Mr Mwakibete informed the august House yesterday that two vessels will operate in Lake Tanganyika and one in Lake Victoria.

The Deputy Minister was responding to a supplementary question by Kalambo MP Josephat Kandege who wanted to know when will the government ensure that Lake Tanganyika gets a ship to transport passengers and cargo.

Responding, Mr Mwakibete said that they were also in the final stages of finding a contractor for the renovation of the MV Liemba, which was operating in Lake Tanganyika.

In a basic question, Muleba North MP Charles Mwijage wanted to know when the government would send a small passenger ship to Muleba as well as begin using the MV Victoria ship to test Uganda and Kenyan markets.

In response, Mr Mwakibete stated that the government recognises the need for public transport in Muleba District, particularly for those living in the Islands, and that the Marine Services Company Limited (MSCL) has allocated one vessel, the MV Claris, to provide services in Muleba District’s Godziba Islands and Ukerewe District’s Gana Islands.

He noted that the ship, which began serving the islands on March 3, 2023, ceased operations on March 22, 2023, due to technical difficulties, adding that after the repairs are completed, the services will resume in early May 2023.

Mr Mwakibete further said regarding the travel services to Uganda and Kenya, MSCL expects to start those trips using the MV Mwanza Hapa Kazi Tu immediately after its construction is completed.

“MV Victoria will not be able to be used as it is the only ship that is reliable in the provision of transport services between Mwanza and Bukoba through Kemondo and is a great help to the residents of the area,” he said.

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